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Alphabet Week: M-P

Magali: this girl name is probably a Provence diminutive of Margaret, meaning “pearl,” or according to French sites it derives from Magdalene, meaning “tower.” Magaly and Magalie have been seen as alternate spelling options. Magali has been used in the U.S. since 1950 and was given to 53 girls in 2017. (Mah-gah-LEE and MAH-gah-lee seem to be both accurate pronunciations.)
Marduk: a god of healing in ancient Babylon whose name means “bull calf of the sun god Utu.” A simpler meaning is “solar calf.” He could use magic and was given some of his power by an older god, Ea. Marduk has not been used in the U.S.

Nigella: usually said to be the female variant of Nigel, Nigella actually comes from the Late Latin word nigellus, meaning “blackish.” And although most of the world is familiar with chef Nigella Lawson, the name still is not used in the U.S.
Nicander: from Greek Nikandros, meaning “victorious man.” One of the first people with this name was a 2nd century BCE scholar. Being so similar to Nicholas and Andrew and other popular names, one would think Nicander would’ve been far more popular, but it is not recorded in U.S. statistics. Read my full post here.

Ollalie: a Chinook (revived American indigenous language) word meaning “berries,” evidenced by the ollalie berry. Although this word name is cute and unique, it is not used at all. It is very interesting how some plant and flower names take off in popularity and others remain hidden.
Ophion: a Greek deity name that has remained quite obscure. His name is pronounced oh-FY-on. He was said to be the original god of Mount Olympus. The name is related to ophis, “snake,” and so some of his mystery revolves around a relation to snakes. This is also unused as a baby name.

Palladia: this is a feminine form of Palladius, meaning “belonging to Pallas.” Pallasthe goddess’s name meant “young girl,” and although this was an epithet of Athene, she may be a goddess who pre-dates her. This name is not used.
Palmerin: the hero in Palmerin of England by Francisco de Moraes Cabral from the 16th century. His name may be taken from Palmer, “palm-bearing pilgrim,” or Palmyrenus, which possibly means “from the palm.” This name is also unused.

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